Synopsis: It’s been over two years since Effie’s beloved parents got divorced, destroying the image of the happy, loving childhood she thought she had. Since then, she’s become estranged from her father and embarked on a feud with his hot (and much younger) girlfriend, Krista. And now, more earth-shattering news: Greenoaks, the rambling Victorian country house Effie called home her whole life, has been sold.
When Krista decides to throw a grand “house cooling” party, Effie is originally left off the guest list–and then receives a last-minute “anti-invitation” (maybe it’s because she called Krista a gold-digger, but Krista totally deserved it, and it was mostly a joke anyway). Effie declines, but then remembers a beloved childhood treasure is still hidden in the house. Her only chance to retrieve it is to break into Greenoaks while everyone is busy celebrating. As Effie sneaks around the house, hiding under tables and peeping through trapdoors, she realizes the secrets Greenoaks holds aren’t just in the dusty passageways and hidden attics she grew up exploring. Watching how her sister, brother, and dad behave when they think no one is looking, Effie overhears conversations, makes discoveries, and begins to see her family in a new light. Then she runs into Joe–the love of her life, who long ago broke her heart, and who’s still as handsome and funny as ever–and even more truths emerge.
But will Effie act on these revelations? Will she stay hidden or step out into the party and take her place with her family? And truthfully, what did she really come back to Greenoaks for? Over the course of one blowout party, Effie realizes that she must be honest with herself and confront her past before she’ll ever be able to face her future.
Review: This book is completely delirious, but that’s also what makes it so nice to read, and what hooks me immediately on the story, and especially on Effie.
Our heroine doesn’t have much luck in life, but now her parents are getting divorced and her father’s new girlfriend (a bitch, of course) decides to sell the family home. What’s more, Effie hasn’t spoken to her father in a while, thanks to dear Krista, who screens all her calls. But then the wicked stepmother decides to throw one last farewell party in the house. And now dear Effie isn’t even invited, in her own house! And when she points this out to Krista, her stepmother ungraciously offers her to come along. Impossible to accept! No way. Damn it, she wants her mother’s Russian dolls back. But how? Oh, she could ask her brother and sister for help, but nonsense, because Effie has a better idea: to sneak off to the party and get her possessions back… Anyway, if her ears fall on several private conversations… It’s not her fault!
I had a great time with this novel. As I said, it’s a completely delirious story, but also a touching one, and I was delighted to follow Effie in this screwy, but so funny, cavalcade! A perfect novel for a good time.